You may die, but your stuff lives on.
The last few days brought to mind comedian George Carlin’s riff about stuff: “Your house is just a pile of stuff with a cover on it.”
You can say that again.
It’s what we’re dealing with as we try to get my mother’s stuff of all kinds under control.
I stared yesterday on two closets. I moved out the clothing first, which will mostly go to Goodwill or one of the groups who sell to Savers. This was hard. In the last several years, she had a few favorite, easy to wear shirts. I tried not to pause to take in each one. If I did, I would never get through the job. On the other hand, I had to check every pocket because my mother always told of hiding bits of jewelry and then forgetting where it had been safely hidden. It was a slow process, but the clothing pile grew. Bonnie will do another cut through it, pulling out nicer items to go to her church thrift shop.
I previously mentioned the genealogical files, papers, publications, notes, history books on specific counties, correspondence with other genealogical researchers, photos of long dead ancestors, notes about distant cousins discovered through detailed digging, and on and on. It’s not like this is all in one place. It’s everywhere. I’m not finished going through the second closet and have already found lots of things that, for now, are just being piled up in one spot for further evaluation and sorting.
In amongst all this are bits of personal correspondence, more papers from Carey D. Miller, photographs and negatives. Yesterday I found boxes and bags filled with old recycled Christmas gift wrapping, plastic bags so old that some had biodegraded in place, newspaper ads for various “investments” carefully clipped and set aside, even boxes of empty boxes. Pieces of broken or damaged jewelry, most of the costume jewelry category. Newspaper clippings going back 40 years or more, including things like yellowed columns by the late Sammy Amalu, Bob Kraus columns about Hawaiian places or historical figures, feature stories about places she had been and people she had known. And did I mention the two hefty stacks of obits? When you are 98, most of your friends have already departed, and she faithfully kept the information about all of them, it seems.
Need I call attention to the humming bird’s nest my sister brought back after a visit with my dad’s relatives in California 59 years ago?